UK groups pitch for Champions League

Four UK groups – Futurebrand English and Pockett, Interbrand, Leeds-based The Works and XTV – are in line to pitch for a rebrand of the UEFA Champions League, Design Week can exclusively reveal.

A date for pitching should be confirmed this week, with a decision on the successful consultancy expected in January. Up to four continental groups are also believed to be in the running.

Two separate briefs cover 2D graphics, including identity work and on-screen elements such as title sequences.

A single supplier may win out, but UEFA director of communications and public affairs Mike Lee denies this represents a major revamp of Europe’s premier football club competition.

‘It would be wrong to talk about a total rebranding. We’re looking for ideas in the light of new TV contracts [with BSkyB and ITV] and the competition’s format changing next season. It’s a further enhancement of the brand, with a bit of refreshing – something that builds on our basic core brand,’ he says.

UEFA is scrapping the second group stage from 2003-04 to create a better balance between league and knockout competition – a move that Lee says is designed to create ‘more drama, akin to the old European Cup’. There have been concerns that growth in the number of fixtures has devalued some matches.

Lucerne-based marketing sports agency TEAM is organising the pitch on UEFA’s behalf. None of the consultancies involved would make any official comment.

Meanwhile, UEFA is today unveiling a logo – designed by The Works – for this season’s Champions League final. The game will be played at Old Trafford in Manchester on 28 May 2003.

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